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Letcher school district employees remember Knox crash victim

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - The wreck that killed five people in Knox County Christmas Eve continues to send shock waves across the region. Mourners in Letcher County gathered Wednesday to remember Gary Caldwell, who was killed in that accident.

Caldwell served as finance director for the Letcher County Public School District. Caldwell was remembered as someone who had become an integral part of the school district's professional community.

"It has been very emotional for us, as I'm sure it is over in Harlan County, and in Florida," said Anna Craft, district superintendent. "Those four family members were loved no matter where they were."

School board members say Caldwell was dedicated to the students of Letcher County. They say he worked to further education to the very last days of his life.

We are told Caldwell's last professional act was to take up donations for the Letcher County High School marching band, which will be performing next month at Barack Obama's inaugural parade.

"He was concerned, if we were going to have enough money if we wanted to send them off in style, so to speak," Craft said.

Colleagues say Caldwell was a hard worker that also had a funny side. People we talked to say they can not believe he is gone.

"I'm hurt very deeply," said Roger Martin, who serves as director of federal and state programs at the district. "He was a coworker that we shared offices together, but he was also my best friend."

The superintendent says their hearts go out to Caldwell's son Scott, his godmother Linda York, and all of the extended family.

We are told donations are being accepted in Gary Caldwell's name to go toward the band's trip and to scholarships. Money can be sent to the Letcher County Education Foundation and also to the Harlan Baptist Church.

Funeral arrangements are now set for four of the five victims. The visitation for Gary and Patricia Caldwell, along with Brent and Julia Robinson, will be held Thursday night, beginning at 5 p.m., at Harlan Baptist Church. The funeral will be held at the church Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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